Coventry feels honoured
SWIMMING icon Kirsty Coventry says she feels honoured after handing United States’ swimmer Michael Phelps his last medal at the Olympics over the weekend in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Phelps, just like Coventry, was making his fifth and final Olympic Games.
And he capped it with another exceptional performance claiming his 28th medal after winning gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay at the Rio Olympics. It was his 23rd gold medal. “Phelps and I both competed in 5 Olympics so it was an honour to hand him his last medal — Gold #23. Well done Team USA,” Coventry said on Instagram.
Going into the Rio Games Phelps had 22 Olympic medals to his name.
Coventry has also made some indications that the ongoing Games are probably her last having represented Zimbabwe since 2000.
It has also been a successful road for the Zimbabwean swimmer over the past 16 years as she won seven of the country’s eight medals at the Olympics.
While she made her first appearance at the world’s biggest sporting showcase in 2000, Coventry’s first medals came in 2004, in Athens, Greece where she got one gold, a silver and bronze.
In 2008, at the Beijing Games, Coventry went on to win four medals — one gold and three silvers. But in 2012 she could not repeat the same feat.
The 32-year-old is part of Team Zimbabwe taking part at the Rio Games and had her last race on Saturday.
She came sixth in the finals of her favourite race, the 200m backstroke. Just before the 200m event, her bid early last week to win a medal in the 100m backstroke had also failed as it ended in the semi-final.
She went into the Games hoping for her eighth medal but things did not go her way. Despite the setback, Coventry remains Africa’s most decorated Olympian.